Hello Denver readers! I just have to tell you about a motorcycle podcast that I recently found! As you know, I do a lot with the Colorado motorcycle community, from sponsoring rides to supporting BikerDown to giving away bikes. Recently, I was in a conversation with a biker who told me about Law Abiding Biker, so I tuned in. It’s great! I asked a friend who is a freelance writer to interview Ryan so that we could get the word out about his great work to the local and regional biker community. Read the story below and check out the Law Abiding Biker podcasts and videos: I think you’re going to like what you read and hear…
“High-Tech Redneck” Turns Motorcycle Podcast into Life’s Mission
Google “Ryan Urlacher motorcycle” and your entire first page of results will be filled with videos, podcasts, articles and images of a Harley-riding, backwards-ballcap-wearing dude with tats up his arms and a singular mission on his mind.
Ryan is founder of Law Abiding Biker, a website/podcast/video/blogging empire designed to demystify motorcycles for both prospective bikers and hard-core bikers alike. Yet his story had quite humble beginnings…
“I started out in 2013 with nothing more than a microphone and an iPad, sitting in my daughter’s closet to muffle outside noise,” says Ryan, whose initial goal was inspired by his own experience.
“I got into Harleys in my 30s and people made them so mysterious!” he recalls. “You’re told you have to take them to a dealership for any maintenance and that they require special tools. But I grew up working on cars and I started looking over my new Harley and I thought, ‘You’ve gotta be freaking kidding me! People are paying how much for an oil change?’ I decided to help bike owners through a podcast.”
In addition to the full-time job running Law Abiding Biker, Ryan is a 23-year law enforcement veteran in his hometown, where he rides a Harley as a motorcycle officer.
Ryan, who admits his first podcasts and videos were “horrible” but also calls himself a “high-tech redneck,” continuously upped his production game as more and more bikers started listening. Today he has a professional studio in his home, produces multiple podcasts and how-to videos on a weekly basis and can boast one of the biggest podcast audiences in the world.
“Our podcast host tells us that we consistently have among the highest number of downloads and we are in the top 10% of podcasts in the world,” says Ryan. His YouTube channel has 48,000 subscribers and his videos frequently show thousands of hits and watches.
While it may seem like a glamorous way to live (streaming your face and your voice to a worldwide audience of eager listeners), Ryan admits that his life is anything but glamorous. In fact, in addition to the full-time job running Law Abiding Biker, Ryan is a 23-year law enforcement veteran in his hometown, where he rides a Harley as a motorcycle officer.
That career is one reason he named his company Law Abiding Biker. But there are other reasons, as well. Many of the folks who help Ryan put the blogs and videos together (as volunteers and paid employees) are law officers, as well. Additionally, Ryan hopes that all of his broadcast efforts help to dispel the stereotypes that many people have of bikers.
The 99-percenters, are average guys who go to work every day, raise a family, are friendly, will give you a hug and we raise money for tons of good causes.
“Especially in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and then with shows like ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ there has been a stereotype presented of what it means to be a biker,” says Ryan. “The so-called one-percenters such as the Hells Angels and Bandidos – the criminal element – their reputation overwhelms the biker stereotype, but the rest of us, the 99-percenters, are average guys who go to work every day, raise a family, are friendly, will give you a hug and we raise money for tons of good causes.”
Those are the people Ryan wants to reach, and while many of his broadcasts include Harley-Davidsons, he says he doesn’t care what people ride; he just wants to reach bikers.
Membership Has its Privileges
As Law Abiding Biker has grown, so has its offerings, which now include:
- Weekly podcasts
- Weekly videos
- Online motorcycle store
- Membership benefits (such as a private Facebook group where members share tips and tricks, and premium videos with exclusive bike maintenance and gear insights)
The membership component of Law Abiding Biker grew out of a need for the company to sustain itself. While 95% of its content is free for anybody to use, Ryan now also creates premium videos and documentaries that share one-of-a-kind maintenance and gear information, or tell stories that are particularly important for the biker community.
“People join because I’m saving them so much money and they want to give back,” explains Ryan.
Additionally, the motorcycle store only sells gear that Ryan and his team have personally tested and used, often in the videos they produce. Proceeds from sales support the company; Ryan pours all income back into the company, relying on his job as a law enforcement officer to pay his personal bills.
Sadly, in December 2017, just before Christmas, Ryan and his team faced a terrible tragedy: the garage where they were storing all of the gear for sale in the motorcycle store was destroyed in a fire. None of the gear was insured and it was a total loss for the company. Yet, within 12 hours of the fire, Ryan was on his camera, telling his audience that he would rebuild.
“I am a man of faith and I know that things happen for a reason,” he says. “We are and have always been a bootstrap company. Being man of faith, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Our community has been incredible. They backed us immediately and many asked how they could help us rebuild. Even vendors reached out to us and are helping us to rebuild our inventory. We are slowly bringing the store back online.”
Additionally, the feedback that Ryan gets from listeners on a daily basis sustains his passion for the cause.
“Just today, I received an email from a guy in the military stationed overseas. He was just thanking me for the work we’re doing,” says Ryan. “That makes it all worth it. If bikers love something, they’d never let it fail.”